Witches’ Brew

Jancis Robinson, the well-known wine writer, and Silverio Cineri, master chef from Italy, occupy two ends of the spectrum of food and beverage. But last week, both found themselves in New Delhi. While Robinson, on a private visit to the Capital, was co-opted by The Oberoi to hold a wine workshop for the staff, Cineri…

Candid Camera on the Taj

How you can take photographs of the Taj Mahal for best results. As the most photographed edifice in the country, images of the Taj Mahal have appeared in books, magazine articles, calendars, postcards, even on t-shirts and as advertisements for tea and Scotch whisky! You’ll find it at once marvellously easy to photograph, as well…

Family Feasting and Fasting

DELHI’S FIRST FAMILY OF MUGHLAI CUISINE, THE OWNERS OF KARIM’S, HAVE TRADITIONAL TASTES AT HOME AND AT WORK The building in a narrow, sunless alley just off he imposing bulk of the Jama Masjid is just like any other in the neighbourhood. There’s nothing — absolutely nothing — to mark it as one of the…

My Journey In Kutch

My journey in Kutch began at the bus station in Bhuj. It is in a sense a microcosm of the whole of Kutch. The barren land is echoed in the drab bus depot, and in contrast to the plain settings are the people who dazzle the beholder with their brilliance. After the first few moments,…

Fairytale getaway

Srinagar’s heritage hideaway, Lalit The Grand Palace, has been made over by Bharat Hotels Once upon a time there was a king who lived in a palace. Not any old ordinary palace, mind you. It had a fairytale location, backed as it was by well wooded hills, with the finest location in the city, far…

Srinagar, An Insider’s Guide

Exploring Srinagar is largely a matter of personal choice: the delight of a shikara is its stately, unhurried pace; a cycle ride around is the perfect answer for seeing what you want. Stop every ten feet to take the perfect shot without disturbing anybody, travel by yourself if you are a loner, or with a…

The Ethnic And The Rustic

Vishalla, evolved out of a passionate desire to live away from urban centres, is a little haven outside Ahmedabad. The rustic surroundings of this complex house an ethnic restaurant, a utensils museum and a few handicrafts shops. An evening here is a memorable experience. The ethnic boom of the 1980s spawned a crop of furniture,…

The Kashmiri Way: Banquets

What does a meeting of political bigwigs, an office picnic and an Eid celebration have in common? If all three are held in Kashmir, the answer is wazwan, the traditional banquet. In conservative societies such as Kashmir’s, all occupations are hereditary. Carpenters’ sons pick up the hammer and saw, barbers’ sons will wield the scissors…

Palitana, The Temples Of Eternal Spirituality

No photograph, however powerful, can capture the essence of Palitana. Because antiquity, myth and a sense of spirituality are what imbue this lonely hilltop with an intangible dimension, quite apart from the visual. Of the 24 tirthankars (apostles) of Jainism, 22 are said to have attained spiritual awakening on the hill of Shatrunjay, a 2.3…

What’s Cooking in Kashmir

There is a wedding in the family, and all day long the courtyard is the scene of activity. A party of professional male cooks spread themselves out under a colourful canopy. The head cook cuts up a whole sheep with a set of wicked looking knives. Nearby, a log fire is being lighted, and an…